Instead of showing you blunt image of ads of $10,000 lit on fire or thrown in the trash like so many ads from law firms, we asked a Tampa Bay resident (we will keep anonymous) about what it is really like getting a D.U.I.
As an average person who is currently going through the perils of a DUI, I can tell you it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I had plans and ideas for the future but all of them had to be put on hold. Time keeps moving, but you are trapped.
After you’re arrested, you’ll have to spend no less than 8 hours in jail. This is the minimum. Your bail will probably be in the neighborhood of $500.
After you get out, you’ll get a paper license that will allow you 5 days of free driving to get your affairs in order. Enjoy these days, for they will be your last days of free will behind the wheel for a while.
Now you’ll want to get your car out of impound which will be around $300.
You’ll probably sign with an attorney. Mine was actually able to get me into a “diversion program” that if I complete, will allow me the opportunity to have the charges expunged. Signing with the attorney is probably going to be one of your most expensive costs. Mine was $2,500.
By now, your paper license is just about expired. This means you’ll most likely have to get a BPO (Business Purposes Only) driver’s license. The only places you can drive with the BPO are work, school, doctor appointments and home. This will cost you around $200.
Next, comes your DUI counter attack classes. 2 days, with classes lasting 4 hours each day; 8 hours total. It’s exactly what you think it is. Videos from the 80’s of police talking to you very intensely and class discussions of what everyone did to wind up there and how you can prevent coming back. Oh yeah, this costs $375.
Hey, you’re doing great. Now at the end of your counter attack, they will do an exit interview. They will ask you questions and decide if you need further counseling. Turns out I did, and from what I hear pretty much everyone does. 14 one-hour long sessions of group at the Center for Rational Living. There are different places you can choose from, but this is where I did mine. $28 per group which adds up to around $400 total.
Now you can start getting into whatever your actual punishment was. I got 50 hours of community service and also had to have a breathalyzer installed in my car for 6 months.
Community service is probably the cheapest part, but costs the most time. You just have to sign up for on the job insurance which is only $15.
The breathalyzer, which requires you to blow in it to start your vehicle, blow in it again 5 minutes later, then blow in it every 15 minutes that you drive after that. You pay $100 to have it installed and another $100 every month you have it. (6 in my case.)
You will also have fines to the pay to the courts during all of this. I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but mine totaled $650. Those you can make via payments over the course of your punishment.
So, I think that just about does it. I have roughly a month before I get my actual license back. After that I’ll be done with the diversion program in December. This is just what happens for your 1st one. Everything is worse if you get another one, but I can promise that this experience has made me absolutely positive that I won’t.